This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Explain The Main Forms Of Utilitarianism

989 words - 4 pages

Carys Jones 26th March 2014EXPLAIN THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF CLASSICAL FORMS OF UTILITARIANISMUtilitarianism is the idea that the greatest good for the greatest number, so the action that causes the most number of people, pleasure or happiness. It is a teleological theory of ethics, as it is more concerned with the outcome rather than the act. It is also relative and subjective. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory as it decides whether an action is good or bad depending on its consequences. There are two main utilitarianism theories - Jeremy Bentham, who illustrated the idea of pleasure, and John Stuart Mill who illustrated the idea of happinessJeremy Bentham developed his theory on the idea of pleasure and based it on ancient Hedonism. Hedonism is the view that pleasure is the chief 'good' and pursues physical pleasure and avoiding pain. Pleasure differs from happiness as pleasure is a short-term feeling, whereas happiness is long term contentment. Bentham believes that the best act maximises pleasure and minimises pain, bringing the greatest amount of pleasure possible. Jeremy Bentham's theory of utilitarianism is considered as act utilitarianism as it focuses on the act. The situation is taken into account when determining the morality, and from this general rules can be derived.Bentham begins his theory with the principle of utility, which is the theory of usefulness - the greatest good for the greatest number. Through the principle of utility, Bentham developed a way to establish whether something was good or bad on the basis of the amount of benefit it caused for the largest number of people. His theory is therefore qualitative, as it focuses on the quantity of people that are caused pleasure.Bentham created a way of measuring the good and bad effects of an action, through the hedonic calculus. Through this method, Bentham was able to determine the morality of an action and whether it would result in the most pleasurable outcome. It consisted of seven elements. It starts with the intensity of the pleasure (how deep). The more intense the pleasure is, the more valuable the act. Secondly, the duration of the pleasure caused. Short bursts of pleasure are less valuable than lasting pleasure. Long lasting periods of pleasure caused by an act is more preferable than short periods of pleasure. The certainty of pleasure is also important. The certainty criterion refers to the probability of pleasure resulting from an act. If you choose between an action which might cause pleasure and one that will definitely cause the desired pleasure, then you go with the action where the pleasure will definitely occur. The hedonic calculus follows on to advocate the remoteness of the pleasure (how far or near). The more distant the benefits, in either space or time, the less weight we should give to them when making our decisions. The chance of succession is also significant. If the pleasure the act causes is likely to be followed by more happiness, then the...

Find Another Essay On explain the main forms of utilitarianism

Explain the Criticisms of Plato's Theory of the Forms

1605 words - 6 pages important form is the form of the good, portrayed by the sun in the allegory of the cave.Aristotle was Plato's main critic and was once a pupil of Plato. Aristotle and many other philosophers who came after Plato criticised Plato's view that these ideal forms had an independent existence. Many people believe that there must be something to which we compare all objects and something that makes something what it is and not something else. But that

Rousseau and the two main forms of civil freedom

1460 words - 6 pages In his writing, Rousseau describes two main forms of freedom— the absolute liberty we enjoy in the state of nature and the freedom we preserve in civil society. The former freedom is fundamentally unattractive, and the latter can be achieved only with the concept of the general will. While this democracy is seemingly equitable, it ultimately suffers from numerous flaws that cause the freedom achieved in this state to be rather unappealing. In

Utilitarianism: founding fathers, strengths and weaknesses of act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism, other forms of utilitarianism, and recent philosophers

1528 words - 6 pages are harmonized with some major flaws. I will discuss the founding fathers of utilitarianism, the strengths and weaknesses of act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism, other forms of utilitarianism, and recent philosophers of this school of thought.This idea of the greatest good for the greatest number was developed by Jeremy Bentham. Although the ides of utilitarianism is often traced back to and credited to Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill

Explain the main features of Darius 1 reign

1023 words - 4 pages The main features of Darius 1 reign were:Neutralizing early revoltsMilitary campaignsAdministration of the EmpireBuilding projectsNeutralizing early revoltsIn 522 BC when Darius gained the throne he was faced by major revolts throughout his empire. Sources tell us that the empire was relatively content under the rule of Bardiya, as much of the empire was benefited by tax, military, and religious reforms. In little under a year, Darius was able

Explain the relationship between Plato's Form of the good and the other Forms

1377 words - 6 pages world. This seems contradictory seeing that the world of the Form's is meant to be 'perfect.' It may be possible to question this as disease and death are both imperfections, it is logically impossible for there to be perfect forms of them.Plato acknowledges that if we need a Form of Beauty, for example, to explain why we find things beautiful, then we need another Form to explain why beauty itself is beautiful. This would lead to an infinite

The Flaw of Utilitarianism

837 words - 3 pages Philosophers Bentham and James Mill developed an ethical theory, utilitarianism, proposing that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Utilitarians further argue that achieving the greatest happiness overall is not only the right thing to do for society but also moral. Although this theory is applicable in many situations, when one takes a closer look it is clear to see that

The Effect of Utilitarianism

1412 words - 6 pages who experienced near-death, or people who attained freedom after long periods of hardship and torture. These people would definitely view their lives, and those who went through the same experiences, in a different light. If we were to analyze Utilitarianism closely, we would realize that they do not put any values on human life. In the Utilitarian point of view, every human life is worth the same. No matter what the status of the entity. Even if

Explain how mortgage backed securities are issued. Present evidence of the main issuers of these securities and explain the main reasons they issue these bonds

948 words - 4 pages Present evidence of the growth in the importance of non-government bond issues over the past five years (to2005). Explain how mortgage backed securities are issued. Present evidence of the main issuers of these securities and explain the main reasons they issue these bonds. Describe the main forms of bonds issued by (non-financial) companies (excluding hybrids) and on the basis of evidence of the amounts issued assess the size of this segment of

"The Ontological Argument": Explain the traditional forms of the ontological argument put forward by Anselm and Descartes

1584 words - 6 pages a) Explain the traditional forms of the ontological argument put forward by Anselm and Descartes. (33 marks)The ontological argument is a deductive a priori argument that attempts to prove God's existence from logical reasoning. The first and best known ontological argument was proposed by St Anselm (Archbishop of Canterbury) in his writings 'Proslogion', however since then variations have been developed by other philosophers such as Rene

Identify the different forms of European Union legislation and explain how they become part of English law

1007 words - 4 pages are two sources of European Union law. There is primary and secondary. Primary sources of EU law are treaties. Treaties are agreements signed by the Heads of State of all the member states of the EU. They set out all the main principles and goals of the EU. So far as our law is concerned all treaties signed by our head of government become part of English law automatically. This is a result of the European Communities Act 1972

Explain the main factors that influence the rate of economic growth

477 words - 2 pages Explain the main factors that influence the rate of economic growth Economic growth will be different in M.E.D.Cs than it will be in L.E.D.Cs. The reason for this is that M.E.D.Cs are already developed and vast improvement may not be possible but in L.E.D.Cs they have a long way to catch up so it is easier for them to expand vastly. Economies like China and India have potential for vast economic growth because of a huge population. If

Similar Essays

Explain The Forms Of Utilitarianism Essay

726 words - 3 pages decision procedure.Some Weaknesses of Utilitarianism.It allows us to do evil so that good might come. For example, in a time of crisis, innocent people may be imprisoned or executed if it calms down the population (if say they are believed to be responsible for terrorist acts). The British police were guilty of this during the Northern Irish troubles.The no-rest objection: act utilitarianism, if followed to the letter, could prevent us from doing

Explain The Main Difference Between Act And Rule Utilitarianism (It Can Also Be Used To Explain The Main Difference Between Bentham And Mill)

2697 words - 11 pages Explain the main differences between Act and Rule UtilitarianismUtilitarianism is a theory, which first became widely acknowledge when it was adopted by its greatest advocate Jeremy Bentham. It is a theory that maintains that it is an action's total consequence that determines its moral correctness. It is a theory not concerned with the effects of the action on the individual carrying out the action, but instead the effect it has on everybody

Describe The Main Strengths And Weaknesses Of Utilitarianism

1040 words - 5 pages it was for the happiness of the majority. Any prejudices the decision maker may hold are eradicated in Utilitarianism, as they have to stick to the main rule. There is also some flexibility for emotions in moral decision making according to Rule Utilitarianism. This part of the theory allows respect for the rules that are created to better our society although even these rules do not have to be kept all the time if you are a weak utilitarian which

Explain Bentham’s Account Of Utilitarianism Essay

1766 words - 7 pages society to become increasingly privatised. Industrialised societies reinforce the suitability of the nuclear family through such methods as 'the cereal packet family' and laws (most family based laws are orientated around the nuclear family).Additionally, postmodern Britain although nuclear families are the dominate family structure type there are other forms, namely:Boomerang families are an evolution of the nuclear family, whereas nuclear families